The Canadian-owned and operated Sandman Hotel Group is celebrating its milestone 50th anniversary this year.
In 1967, Bob Gaglardi, Sandman Hotel Group’s founder, opened his first location in Smithers, British Columbia, a 35-room Sandman Inn. Close to main highways, it was a success with travellers seeking comfortable road-side accommodations and a good night’s rest. Between 1967 and 1976, Sandman opened 14 Inns in British Columbia expanding both the presence and calibre of accommodations.
“Sandman started from very humble beginnings, and over the last 50 years, our family has grown to include more than 50 hotels across Canada, the UK, and many more on the horizon,” said Tom Gaglardi, chairman and CEO of Sandman Hotel Group. “Our long-term goal is for Sandman Hotel Group to be Canada’s hotel chain of choice.”
Adding a new tier to the company profile in 1976, Sandman proudly opened its first central city location in downtown Vancouver. In the same year, Sandman also expanded into Alberta with the 150-room Sandman Hotel Edmonton West. In 1981, Sandman opened its largest city centre hotel to date in downtown Calgary and another hotel in Lethbridge.
“Bringing the Sandman brand to Alberta and offering our guests a variety of hotel styles were both exciting aspects to our growth,” said Gaglardi.
Beginning in 1997 and for the next 20 years, Sandman saw a major growth in its profile with 20 hotels opening right across Canada, from British Columbia all the way to Quebec.
In 2007, Sandman Signature Hotels & Resorts was established as Sandman’s entry into the four-star hotel market, with the opening of hotels at both Vancouver and Toronto airports. From 2010-2015, Sandman opened seven more hotels under the Sandman Signature umbrella, including two in the United Kingdom.
“Expanding to the United Kingdom was a very natural fit for us,” said Taj Kassam, President and COO of Sandman Hotel Group. “Our first location in the UK was home to the former Scottish & Newcastle Brewery, so the building in which the hotel stands has played a significant role in Newcastle’s history. We are extremely proud to call this building home and to continue to pay homage to Newcastle’s honoured icon.”
In the next few years, Sandman will be opening hotels in Sherwood Park, Alberta; Hamilton, Ontario; Ottawa, Ontario; St. John’s, Newfoundland; Plano, Texas (Sandman’s first hotel in the United States); Aberdeen, Scotland (Sandman’s third hotel in the UK); and an additional tower is being built at the Calgary Airport location.
“A company’s success is driven by teamwork, and this hard work and dedication of all our team members, past and present, got us to where we are today,” said Kassam. “It is this team work and everyone’s combined efforts that helped us be successful for the past 50 years.”